India successfully tests medium Range Akash missile

India yesterday sucessfully test-fired its medium-range Akash surface-to-air missile from a base in Odisha, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesperson Ravi Gupta said.

The indigenously developed missile, which has a range of 27 km and an effective ceiling of 15 km, was test-fired from the Integrated Test Range of Chandipur (ITR) in the costal district of Balasore, about 230 km from here.

The 700-kg missile can carry a 60-kg warhead. ‘It was a routine test. The test was sucessful’ Gupta told IANS over the phone.

Akash is India’s medium range surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The missile can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. Akash can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.

Akash is said to be capable of both conventional and nuclear warheads, with a reported payload of 60 kg.A nuclear warhead could potentially give the missile the capability to destroy both aircraft and warheads from ballistic missiles. The missile battery is described as being able to track and attack several targets simultaneously.